Three wines from Gold Hill Winery in Oliver are ideal for sipping as COVID-19 restrictions ease and we get together more with friends and relatives.

“We survived 2020 and 2021 and we’re having some form of socializing that doesn’t involve Zoom,” said Gold Hill winemaker Val Tait with a smile.

“I think that’s a reason to celebrate.”

She has three wines in mind that fit the bill.

The first is Gold Hill’s inaugural vintage of Sauvignon Blanc 2020 ($30), which has a lime-and-gooseberry profile and will pair nicely with a seafood dinner or cheese and crackers with friends.

The 2020 Cabernet Franc Saignee Rose ($20) is made of juice drained off after crushing grapes for the red Cabernet Franc.

Tait loves the versatility of the Saignee Rose because it’s bold enough to be a summer red wine slightly chilled and delicate enough to be a winter white well well-chilled.

Bleeding off some of the juice to make a rose means the 2015 Cabernet Franc ($41) made from the remaining juice is more concentrated and the resulting wine has a plum-cherry-and-dried-herbs profile.

Any wine, anytime

From big reds to holiday gifts, Burrowing Owl Winery in Oliver is also thinking of fall and winter and socializing with its current lineup of wines and programs.

Adopting the adage that you can drink any wine in any season, Burrowing Owl is promoting all the wines in its portfolio from hearty reds such as 2019 Cabernet Franc ($36), 2019 Syrah ($35), 2019 Merlot ($32) and 2018 Athene ($40) and lighter red Pinot Noir 2019 ($35) to complex whites such as 2019 Chardonnay ($32) and 2019 Viognier ($40) and fresh-and-light 2020 Sauvignon Blanc ($28).

The Sonora Room restaurant at Burrowing Owl is still open until Dec. 11 for dinners, Thursdays through Sundays.

The tasting room and shop are open daily until Christmas.

And rooms at The Guest House are available until it closes for the season on Dec. 6.

Reservations are recommended for dinner and tastings and are a must for the hotel at

The winery will also make up winecentric corporate holiday gifts that it will ship to your staff, customers or clients, complete with a customized note or card.

Call 1-877-498-0620, extension 3, for details.

Local wines at Cornucopia

Cornucopia, Whistler’s annual food and wine festival running until Nov. 28, always has a lot of Okanagan content.

This year, wines from Valley properties will be served at a myriad of Cornucopia events such as BC House Party, Taste of the World, Winery Speed Dating, Murder Mystery Dinner and the 25th Anniversary Dinner.

On Nov. 5, winemakers from Andrew Peller Ltd.’s wineries in the Okanagan (Black Hills, Gray Monk, Red Rooster, Sandhill and Tinhorn Creek) poured their wines for guests at the Great Estates Regional Tasting.

Steve MacNaull is an Okanagan wine lover and Canadian Wine Scholar. Email: